Ask the Trainer: Horse Skills

Spring 2004

 

 

Ask the Trainer: Horse Skills
Linda Adkins
Professional Instructor and Trainer
Good Form Equestrian Sports
Norristown, PA
Linda competed as a professional trainer and instructor for over 20 years. She specialized in jumpers and eventing while training in multiple disciplines throughout the equine industry.
 

 

CAN A HORSE RE-LEARN?

Horses who have been subjected to poor handling methods or mistreatment earlier on in their lives are often expected to be poor candidates for re-training. Typically they will exhibit behavior issues around people, the barn, and other horses. This is really due to lack of handling. Or, more properly, lack of educated handling.

Even horses who are born wild, such as mustangs, can be brought around with gentling techniques. This is not the same as the “Horse Whisperer” bonding concept, which is nothing more than solid horsemanship skills that are marketed as something unusual and unique.

Rather, it is basic barn and husbandry skills, added together with proven training techniques, that can usually “bring a horse around.” The greatest horse skills are also innate.

There is nothing special or amazing about re-training a horse and then placing them into a new career. Even an older horse can learn basic skills. Preferably with a talented trainer who can athletically manage their own body, so as to influence the horse’s body in a proper manner. So with
a common-sense approach, and knowing one’s own abilities, nearly every animal can be brought along to a higher level of competency - thus giving it new career options!

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